Monday, May 4, 2009

How People Are Trying to Prevent Swine Flu

The Harvard School of Public Health has released a new survey of Americans and their family members are doing to try to avoid the flu epidemic. Here’s what they say:

59% have washed their hands or used hand sanitizer more frequently
25% have avoided crowded places such as sporting events, malls or public transportation
20% have avoided people they thought may have recently visited Mexico
17% have avoided Mexican restaurants or grocery stores
8% have worn a face mask
5% have purchased a face mask
5% have talked with their doctor about health issues related to swine flu
1% have gotten a prescription for or purchased antivirals

Some of these approaches - like hand-washing - are evidence-based, while others - like avoiding crowdedplaces and Mexcan restaurants - are not. But it's an interesting list.

"An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that they can get the current swine flu from being in close contact with someone who has it (83%), and few believe that they can get the disease from eating pork (13%)," the study says. "Some Americans also believe that they can get the swine flu from being near, but not in close contact with, someone with swine flu (29%), or from being in contact with pigs (34%). "


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